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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11510
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I have a 1800 gallon pond installed in my back yard. What

Customer Question

I have a 1800 gallon pond installed in my back yard. What can I do to create an environment for the frogs to hibernate? Every spring i end up finding them all dead. There is no dirt sides for them to burrow into.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the frog's name and age?
Customer: There is about nine of them in my outside pond now. Various ages I believe.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about There?
Customer: I don't know. I have aerators in the pond, a couple of heaters for the winter,
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in herps and in creating wildlife habitat. I'm always happy to meet someone who wants to provide frog habitat. Frogs are in trouble and need all the help they can get. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.What type of pond is- concrete, preformed pond, liner, etc.?When you use the heaters, how much of the pond surface is ice- free?Is there any natural material on the pond bottom?Thank you.
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
Hello again. It appears you went offline without seeing my request for additional information. Because I don't want you to have to wait any longer, I'm going to go ahead and answer without knowing those things. I have a pond that I keep primarily for frogs, too, and I had the same problem the first spring I had the pond.Frogs do have certain requirements in order to hibernate successfully. The pond surface just needs to be heated enough to allow some air exchange. If you heat the pond too much, to the point where there is little to no ice on the surface, frogs will become lethargic, but won't hibernate. They won't be active enough to eat and will starve, or become ill and die. A small open area right around a floating heater works best. The water will be cold enough for hibernation, but the small open area allows for air exchange.Frogs also must be able to burrow in order to live through hibernation. My frog pond is of the preformed type. I allow fallen leaves to accumulate on the bottom. You could also place a layer of sand and small gravel on the bottom. This layer of materials should be at least 4 inches deep. Another way to provide a burrowing area is to keep potted water plants in the pond, with the pots resting on the pond floor. Frogs will burrow into the soil in the pots.In summary, frogs need 3 conditions to be able to hibernate. It has to cold enough to trigger full hibernation. There has to be a small area free of ice to allow air exchange. They need to have something to burrow in.If you have more questions, just let me know. I wish you success with your frogs' hibernation.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I had the pond installed, it is rubber a liner with river rocks for a bottom. It is nine years old, it has some debris on the bottom that I clean every spring. It has a pump with a waterfalls that I shut down before it gets real cold. I use two surface heaters, one with a hole in the middle so the gases will escape. Each heater is about 12" across. When it doesn't get real cold the aerator also keeps the water from freezing. I thought the frogs needed something to hibernate it, like a couple of buckets with soil and leaves. They have never gone in them before. Every year I get a fresh number of frogs and they seem to be dead in the spring. I have five goldfish in the pond also.
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
It sounds like you're doing everything right in terms of hibernation. Let's see if we can figure out what is going on.When you find the dead frogs, are they floating in the water or lying at the bottom?In what state do you live?Do you live near any farm land?